If you have head lice, the only way that you can truly eliminate them is through lice picking. While there are a variety of treatments available, nearly all boil down to the same thing – kill the adult lice and go through lice picking to remove the eggs.
How Lice Treatments should be used
Before starting any lice treatment, read all of the instructions carefully. In general, most over-the-counter remedies say the same thing:
Wash and dry hair thoroughly with a regular shampoo.
Use lice treatment over the sink to avoid contact with skin.
Shampoo a second time using the product.
Allow product to sit on hair for 10 minutes and then rinse.
Comb and do lice picking to remove nits and lice.
Continue lice picking every day for at least a week
Repeat treatment 7-10 days later if remaining lice are seen.
The Basics of Lice Picking
Conducting lice picking properly is an important step to ridding yourself of the lice infestation. The basic lice picking steps include:
Purchasing a metal lice picking comb. Some over-the-counter treatments will include lice picking combs in the package.
Set up a well lit area or go outside to do lice picking.
Comb through the hair and divide it into sections using clips. This will make it easier to do a thorough job while lice picking.
Using a magnifying glass, comb through hair one section at a time. Lice picking requires you to remove all lice and nits, so you may need to go over each section multiple times.
With each stroke, remove lice and nits from the comb with a tissue or hot water.
Continue lice picking every day for two weeks to make sure that all lice and nits were removed.
What to do after Lice Picking
Besides lice picking, there are a few steps that you will need to do to help eliminate the lice problem. Lice cannot live long away from their human hosts, but can survive for short periods of time on clothing and furniture. Therefore there are a few steps that should be taken:
Wash clothing, bedding, linen, and other cloth items that have been in contact with an infected person. This also includes items like hats and back packs. All items should be washed in hot water and dried for at least 20 minutes.
After treatment and lice picking, have a child put on clean, lice-free clothing.
Clean out lice hide outs in your home, including bedding mattresses, and stuffed animals, as well.
Items that cannot be washed should be sealed in plastic bags for at least two weeks to allow the lice to die off. Nonwashable clothing items can be dry cleaned
Whatever treatments you decide to do, lice picking will be a crucial part of it. Lice picking is the only way to guarantee that all the lice have been removed and that the infestation has been halted.